Primary School Reading Log

My kids are both avid readers, but neither have been good with maintaining a reading log, sometimes requested by their teachers.

I thought if I reduced the effort required to maintain the reading log, they’d be more likely to track the books they read.  I created a website where, using a smart phone, they could just take a picture of the bar code on a given book.  The website would read the bar code, and make a call to the Google Books API to retrieve the book title and author, and add it to the reading log.

Reading Log Website
Reading Log Website

It was used for a month or two, and then the novelty wore off.  We’re back to just reading books, as opposed to tracking what we read, which I guess is the important thing anyway.

In the past, I’ve worked with AWS, but I thought I would use the Google Cloud platform for this project to try something different, and now my free trial has expired, so the site is no longer up.

I wanted to use the QuaggaJS in-browser (Javascript) bar code reader, which would save sending the bar code picture to the server, but, in testing, the Java based Zxing was much better at consistently reading the bar codes, so the website gets the user to take the picture of the bar code, sends the picture to the server, and the bar code is converted to an ISBN server-side.

I haven’t documented it, but source can be found here: